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Nintendo Asks U.S. Trade Rep For Piracy Control

Nintendo Asks U.S. Trade Rep For Piracy Control

February 14, 2008 | By Leigh Alexander

February 14, 2008 | By Leigh Alexander
More: Console/PC

Following a report filed by the Entertainment Software Association with the U.S Trade Representative (USTR) highlighting key issues of overseas piracy, Nintendo of America has also asked the USTR to encourage specific world governments to more aggressively combat piracy of its games.

Like the ESA, Nintendo filed a "Special 301," part of a process by which the USTR underscores specific areas of concern based on input from the public.

The Special 301 from Nintendo highlights Korea as the primary area of concern regarding illegal game file distribution online, but cites China as the primary source of pirated DS and Wii manufacturing.

Additionally, the report says Brazil and Mexico are "saturated" with counterfeit Nintendo software, while Paraguay and Hong Kong remain distribution hubs for illegal goods.

In the filing, Nintendo recommends stronger legislation in all of these countries to prevent counterfeiters from circumventing existing security members. It urges attention to game copying devices and mod chips and more criminal prosecutions in China -- noting that none of those involved in manufacturing over 1 million counterfeit products Nintendo seized through raids in the region have faced prosecution.

Nintendo also suggests the ratification of the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement to address service providers who are profiting from the uploading and downloading of illegal Nintendo content, stressing that these providers are severely inhibiting the growth of the games industry in the region.

The situation in South and Central America is particularly complex, Nintendo says, with escalating violence against police conducting anti-piracy raids. Nintendo calls for "significant changes" to law enforcement regimes in the countries involved.

Jodi Daugherty, Nintendo of America's senior director of anti-piracy, commented, "The unprecedented momentum enjoyed by Nintendo DS and Wii makes Nintendo an attractive target for counterfeiters. We estimate that in 2007, Nintendo, together with its publishers and developers, suffered nearly $975 million USD worldwide in lost sales as a result of piracy. Nintendo will continue to work with governments around the world to aggressively curtail this illegal activity."

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